BBC News was fired on while reporting from the front lines in Georgia. The image is from the same report.
From DealBreaker, a serious, non-snarky (and for them, being non-snarky is quite unusual!) discussion of what’s happening in Georgia.
Who started it?
JR: “De jure, the Georgians. De facto, the Russians.
No, really — Who started it? Who can we blame?
DV: “The Georgians are to blame for being hotheaded and for not thinking out their game-plan; the Russians are to blame for taking the retaliation to a level so disproportionate that it seems more shocking by the hour.”
Many very powerful people in Russia are going to begin losing significant sums because of the Kremlin’s military misadventures, which could lead to a variety of new, unpredictable pressures on the leadership.
The ramifications, fallout, and unpredicted consequences from this war (and it is a war now) will be long-lasting. While some on the Left are desperately trying to figure out who to support, I say the choice between the lesser of two thugs still means you’re supporting a thug. However –
From Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan.
But we cannot just say that all the major powers involved are behaving terribly. That is true but not enough. Lenin’s Tomb has an excellent analysis. But it is marred by the tendency of the left to think anyone opposed to Bush must be a good thing, and so give Putin the benefit of the doubt. Putin has plenty of blood on his hands also, and not only in Chechnya.
The truth is that life for ordinary people in the ex Soviet countries which have had “Orange Revolutions” like Ukraine and Georgia, is much, much better than in those which have not, like Belarus, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. That is so evident as to be undeniable to anyone who has actually been there.
Yet resurgent Russian nationalism is a major threat to Europe, and so Georgia must be supported as Russia tries to increase its hegemony over the former Soviet Union.
But if Georgia must be supported, then the question becomes – how? Sending in fighter planes? Had the US wanted to truly support Georgia, wouldn’t just the threat of sending in fighter planes have backed off Russia? The US and Europe have done such small amounts of saber-rattling that you have to wonder why.
Yes, the tendency of some on the Left to support Putin because he supposedly stands against imperialism is bizarre indeed. (I’ve actually heard some make the same argument for Mugabe.) Putin is an imperialist, and a billionaire exploiter at that. Thinking the foe of my foe must be a friend is simplistic, naive, and dangerous.
I don’t have any answers. Neither, to my knowledge, does anyone else. We are in uncharted, murky territory.